Quarterly Hog, Pig Numbers Down

The number of US hogs and pigs on Dec. 1 was down from last year, although the breeding herd remained near steady, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service said in its Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.

The decline in the total was all in the number of market hogs counted.  All weight categories showed declines, but the heavier weights were down the most.




The US inventory of all hogs and pigs on Dec. 1 was 74.201 million head, down 3.111 million, or 4.02%, from 77.312 million a year earlier.  The total also was down 416,000, or 0.56%, from the Sep. 1 total of 74.617 million.

The breeding inventory, at 6.180 million head, was up 4,000, or 0.06%, from 6.176 million last year, but down 10,000, or 0.16%, from 6.190 million the previous quarter.

Market hog inventory, at 68.021 million head, was down 3.115 million, or 4.38%, from 71.136 million last year, and down 406,000 or 0.59%, from 68.427 million last quarter.

Of the total market hog inventory, 21.174 million weighed less than 50 pounds, down 815,000, or 3.71%, from 21.989 million a year ago and down 681,000, or 3.12%, from 21.855 million at the end of the previous quarter.

Market hogs weighing 50 through 119 pounds totaled 19.185 million head, down 495,000, or 2.52%, from 19.680 million a year earlier and down 566,000, or 2.87%, from 19.751 million a quarter earlier.

Market hogs weighing 120 through 179 pounds totaled 14.809 million head, down 982,000, or 6.22%, from 15.791 million a year ago but up 518,000, or 3.62%, from 14.291 million the previous quarter.

And, market hogs weighing 180 pounds or more on Dec. 1 totaled 12.853 million, down 822,000, or 6.01%, from 13.675 million a year earlier but up 324,000, or 2.59%, from 12.529 million on Dec. 1, 2020.




The September-November 2021 pig crop, at 33.712 million head, was down 1.275 million, or 3.64%, from 34.987 million in the 2020 quarter.  Sows farrowing during this period totaled 3.012 million head, down 153,000, or 4.83%, from 3.165 million in the 2020 quarter.  The sows farrowed during this quarter represented about 49% of the breeding herd.

The average number of pigs saved per litter was 11.19 for the September-November period, compared with 11.05 last year.

Producers expected to farrow 2.943 million sows in the December-February quarter, up 14,000, or 0.48%, from 2.929 million in the 2021 quarter.

March-May farrowing were expected to total 3.010 million, compared with 3.034 million in the 2021 quarter.




The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers this week ranged from $136.23 to $137.27 per cwt, compared with last week’s range of $137.09 to $138.34.  FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $214.38 to $215.04 per cwt, versus $216.25 to $219.76.

The USDA choice cutout Tuesday was up $0.18 per cwt at $264.66, while select was up $0.91 at $256.09.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $8.57 from $9.41 with 97 loads of fabricated product and 26 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA reported Tuesday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.35 to $1.45 a bushel over the Mar futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.40 over Mar, which settled at $6.04 3/4 a bushel, down $0.10.

No delivery intentions were posted against the Dec live cattle contract Tuesday.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Monday was $159.56 per cwt up $0.42.  This compares with Tuesday’s Jan contract settlement of $163.55 per cwt, up $1.15.